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Sanofi-Winthrop Lays Off 485 Workers

October 4, 1994

WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (AP) _ Sanofi-Winthrop Inc., a prescription drug operation recently sold by Eastman Kodak Co., is laying off 485 employees at a research facility in Montgomery County, Pa.

Elf Sanofi SA, the French pharmaceutical company that acquired the Kodak unit, notified the workers affected by the cuts on Monday.

Kodak sold the operation, part of its Sterling Winthrop subsidiary, for $1.68 billion in June. The non-prescription portion of Sterling Winthrop was acquired by British drugmaker SmithKline Beecham PLC for $2.9 billion.

Sanofi-Winthrop is only leasing the Montgomery facility for a year while Kodak seeks a buyer. Company president George Doherty said the layoffs were unavoidable because Sanofi does not need additional laboratory space.

Hundreds of the plant’s 1,200 employees were recently relocated to Montgomery from an older Sterling Winthrop plant near Albany, N.Y.

Of the remaining workers in Montgomery, 470 will be offered jobs with Sanofi, company spokeswoman Linda Gretton said. An additional 170 are being offered jobs with Hafslund Nycomed, a Norwegian pharmaceutical company, and 75 workers are being hired by Kodak, Gretton said.

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